JEFF PHILLIPS, 2002
"All human beings, all persons who reach adulthood in the world today are programmed biocomputers. No one of us can escape our own nature as programmable entities. Literally, each of us may be our programs, nothing more, nothing less.
As the size and complexity of the nervous system and its bodily carrier increased, new levels of programmability appeared, not tied to immediate survival and eventual reproduction. The builtin programs survived as a basic underlying context for the new levels, excitable and inhibitable, by the overlying control systems. Eventually, the cerebral cortex appeared as an expanding new highlevel computer controlling the structurally lower levels of the nervous system, the lower built in programs. For the first time learning and its faster adaptation to a rapidly changing environment began to appear. Further, as this new cortex expanded over several millions of years, a critical size of cortex was reached. At this new level of structure, a new capability emerged: learning to learn.
When one learns to learn, one is making models, using symbols, analogizing, making metaphors, in short, inventing and using language, mathematics, art, politics, business, etc. At the critical brain (cortex) size, languages and its consequences appear.
To avoid the necessity of repeating learning to learn, symbols, metaphors, models each time, I symbolize the underlying idea in these operations as metaprogramming. Metaprogramming appears at a critical cortical size-the cerebral computer must have a large enough number of interconnected circuits of sufficient quality for the operations of meta- programming to exist in that biocomputer. Essentially, metaprogramming is an operation in which a central control system controls hundreds of thousands of programs operating in parallel simultaneously."
JOHN C. LILLY, THE HUMAN BIO-COMPUTER: PROGRAMMING AND META-PROGRAMMING (1968)
"“Our challenge is to create a new language, even a new sense of what it is to be human. It is to transcend not only national limitations, but even our species isolation, to enter into the larger community of living species. This brings about a completely new sense of reality and value.”
Thomas Berry, The Ecological Age, The Dream of the Earth
"...given the assumption that our minds are related to our brains, and that our mind/brains are necessary are central to being human, it’s of extreme importance that the cetaceans in general have brains that are much more sophisticated than ours. Cetaceans play and have highly-evolved social organization; we already know that their uses of sound are far more varied and sophisticated than ours, even though they don’t have ‘language.’ A logical conclusion is that their minds, their ‘intelligence’ is also more advanced than ours, but in ways that we cannot comprehend, because we cannot communicate with them in the ways that we do with each other. Might the cetaceans be more ‘human’ than we are? What are they ‘doing’ with those big brains and no hands…and why are they not doing any of the things we associate with ‘civilization’?"
JEFF PHILLIPS, WE ARE NOT ALONE...YET: HOW WE ARE WAGING WAR ON A TRUE 'EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE' (2012)